parents cooking with two kids in the kitchen

Homes should be a place of refuge, so it’s important to create one filled with peace and harmony. Unfortunately, sometimes conflicts arise among the people who live there. Although all conflict can’t be avoided, it can be greatly minimized by some of the following actions.

Set a Comfortable Temperature

It’s hard to be cheerful and easy-going if you are sweating buckets or shivering like an icicle. Keep your thermostat set to between 64–75 °F for optimal comfort. Of course, personal preference can cause some members of the house to want the lower end of the spectrum and some to want the higher end. If possible, install an HVAC system that runs on zones either powered by gas, electricity or solar panels. To make up the difference in personal comfort levels, make sure there are plenty of fluffy blankets around the house as well as fans in each room.

Decorate in Calming Colors

Your teen may beg you for a room with blood red walls, but it’s much more calming to choose softer lighter shades of paint. Gentle blues are universally acknowledged as peaceful colors as are greens that you associate with nature. If someone in the house wants to be different, suggest a violet or lighter pink. Another way to compromise is to paint walls different colors but all within a softer color palette, or to stick with a neutral tan or grey base but purchase brighter accessories.

Play Background Music

Unless you’re having a dance party or exercising and need something with a beat, your household background music should be soft and beautiful. This does not mean that the music must be boring. Studies have shown that there are certain qualities to some types of music that help people relax. Among these qualities are a simple melody, beat and harmony. Playing music that you’re too familiar with does not, in fact, help you relax. Your best bet is to create a soothing playlist from soft pop, classical and light jazz.

Infuse the Air With Scent

It’s no secret that Disney World uses various scents around the parks and in the hotels to enhance customer experience. While their blends are proprietary, you can create a harmonious atmosphere at home with essential oils and room diffusers. There are plenty of scents widely known to bring about a calming feeling such as lavender and chamomile, but there are others that you may be less familiar with such as earthy vetiver which is native to India or cortisol-reducing clary sage. Buy a variety pack and try different fragrances until you hit on the one that makes everybody feel calm.

Set Clear Expectations

Nothing is more stressful than making someone upset because you didn’t do something you didn’t even know you were supposed to. Assume that no one in your home can read minds and that you need to make household expectations very clear. This can run the gamut from who’s in charge of taking out the trash each day to not leaving your shoes in the hallway. Be true to your word about when you will be home and when you expect everyone else to be home. Ban words such as “hate” and “stupid.” If everyone knows where the boundaries are and what the consequences are for stepping over them, the anxiety of not knowing will be eliminated. It doesn’t mean your teenager won’t leave his or her dirty dishes on the table, but there will no longer be a question about whether or not this is acceptable.

Eat Dinner Together

There are many documented benefits of eating dinner together as a family. Both kids and parents are likely to feel higher self-esteem which can lead to a more contented outlook on life. Make it a habit to sit down as a family at least half of the nights per week. Spending this time together will allow more opportunities for group discussions which can lead to a greater empathy about what’s going on in everyone’s lives.

A calm household is a thing to strive for. Give your home a fighting chance to be a place of tranquility by setting the stage for peace and harmony.